Tag Archives: 8 stars

Diversion by Eden Winters

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Rating: 8/10 ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 
Title: Diversion
Author: Eden Winters
Genre: M/M Romance
URL: Rocky Ridge Books
Price: US $5.99
Summary [from the publisher]:
There are good guys, bad guys, and then there’s Lucky.

Former drug trafficker Richmond “Lucky” Lucklighter flaunts his past like a badge of honor. He speaks his mind, doesn’t play nice, and flirts with disaster while working off his sentence with the Southeastern Narcotics Bureau. If he can keep out of trouble a while longer he’ll be a free man–after he trains his replacement.

Textbook-quoting, by the book Bo Schollenberger is everything Lucky isn’t. Lucky slurps coffee, Bo lives caffeine free. Lucky worships bacon, Bo eats tofu. Lucky trusts no one, Bo calls suspects by first name. Yet when the chips are down on their shared case of breaking up a drug diversion ring, they may have more in common than they believe.

Two men. Close quarters. Friction results in heat. But Lucky scoffs at partnerships, no matter how thrilling the roller-coaster. Bo has two months to break down Lucky’s defenses… and seconds are ticking by.

My review: Continue reading Diversion by Eden Winters

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How Beautiful the Ordinary: Twelve Stories of Identity edited by Michael Cart

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Rating: 8/10 ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 
Title: How Beautiful the Ordinary: Twelve Stories of Identity
Contributors: Francesca Lia Block, David Levithan, Ron Koertge, Eric Shanower, Julie Anne Peters, Jennifer Finney Boylan, William Sleator, Emma Donoghue, Jacqueline Woodson, Ariel Schrag, Margo Lanagan and Gregory Maguire
Genre: Young Adult
URL: HarperTeen
Price: US $16.99
Summary [from the publisher]:
A girl thought to be a boy steals her sister’s skirt, while a boy thought to be a girl refuses to wear a cornflower blue dress. One boy’s love of a soldier leads to the death of a stranger. The present takes a bittersweet journey into the past when a man revisits the summer school where he had “an accidental romance.” And a forgotten mother writes a poignant letter to the teenage daughter she hasn’t seen for fourteen years.

Poised between the past and the future are the stories of now. In nontraditional narratives, short stories, and brief graphics, tales of anticipation and regret, eagerness and confusion present distinctively modern views of love, sexuality, and gender identification. Together, they reflect the vibrant possibilities available for young people learning to love others—and themselves—in today’s multifaceted and quickly changing world.

My review: Continue reading How Beautiful the Ordinary: Twelve Stories of Identity edited by Michael Cart

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Four worthy free reads

Like London buses, you wait ages for a review from me, then four of them come along at once 😉

These were among the recent free offering from Smashwords. Two were out and out excellent, the other two well worth your time.

And I am happy by R. Cooper is a gorgeous little steampunk/Edwardianish story about an ex-kept boy turned valet, and his disabled war hero mster who is now in Parliament, though still struggling with the effects of the war, lost chances for love, and his amputated leg and arm. Wonderful angst yearning, and tenderness, and kudos for a maimed hero who is given dignity and agency, without being a vehicle for able-bodied pity.
Rating: 10/10 ★★★★★★★★★★ 

Butterflies (The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal) by K J Charles is Victorian detective/horror pastiche done with the skill and panache this author demonstrated so devastatingly in A Charm of Magpies. A proper yet blisteringly angry narrator is forced to work with the man he thinks has spurned him, on a case as menacing as it is dangerous. A side story to The Caldwell Ghost, a novel unfortunately published by Torquere Press, it nonetheless stands alone, and if you want to see more of Ms Charles’s work out, well, let me not dissuade you.
Rating: 10/10 ★★★★★★★★★★ 

Right Hand Red by Danni Keane follows two boys from the age of four to young adulthood, through their friendship, their difficulties, and their sexual awakening. Sweet but not without angst, and I may have grown a bity teary-eyed at one or two points.
Rating: 8/10 ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 

Stag: a Story by Ben Monopoli is not romance but instead an all too realistic window on the world of a thirteen-year-old gay boy, going to his first school formal, and trying to avoid the whole issue of a partner. Nice writing, and may tempt you to seek more out by this author.
Rating: 7.5/10 ★★★★★★★½☆☆ 

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The Flesh Cartel #1: Capture by Rachel Haimowitz and Heidi Belleau

Rating: 8/10 ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 
Title: The Flesh Cartel #1: Capture
Author: Rachel Haimowitz and Heidi Belleau
Genre: contemporary, thriller, erotica, horror
URL: Riptide Publishing
Price: US$ 4.99
Other Information/warnings: explicit violence, forced incest, non-consent
Summary [from the publisher]:
Sublime service, made to order.

The Flesh Cartel: an international, multi-billion-dollar black market that trades in lost souls. Or more specifically, their bodies.

Highly organized and frighteningly efficient, the Flesh Cartel could teach even the KGB a thing or two about breaking a human mind. Fortunately for their ultra-rich clients, they’re just as skilled at putting people back together again—as perfect pets, well-trained and eager to please.

No matter what your secret tastes or dark desires, the Flesh Cartel—for the right price, of course—will hand-design the plaything of your dreams.
My review: Continue reading The Flesh Cartel #1: Capture by Rachel Haimowitz and Heidi Belleau

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Tigerland by Sean Kennedy

Rating: 8/10 ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 
Title: Tigerland
Author: Sean Kennedy
Genre: m/m, gay romance, contemporary
URL: Dreamspinner Press
Price: US$6.99/$17.99
Other Information/warnings: weaponised sarcasm
Summary [from the publisher]:
After an eventful and sometimes uncomfortably public courtship, Simon Murray and Declan Tyler settled into a comfortable life together. Now retired from the AFL, Declan works as a football commentator; Simon develops programs with queer content for a community television station.

Despite their public professional lives, Simon and Declan manage to keep their private life out of the spotlight. Their major concerns revolve around supporting their friends through infertility and relationship problems—until Greg Heyward, Declan’s ex-partner, outs himself in a transparent bid for attention.

Though Simon and Declan are furious with Greg and his media antics, they can’t agree on what to do about it. Declan insists they should maintain a dignified silence, but both he and Simon keep getting drawn into Heyward’s games. Simon and Declan will once again have to ride out the media storm before they can return their attention to what really matters: each other.

My review: Continue reading Tigerland by Sean Kennedy

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Shine by Lauren Myracle

Rating: 8/10 ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 
Title: Shine
Author: Lauren Myracle
Genre: Young Adult
URL: Amulet Books
Price: US$ 7.95
Summary [from the publisher]:
When her best guy friend falls victim to what seems like a vicious hate crime, 16-year-old Cat sets out to discover who in her small town did it. Richly atmospheric, this daring mystery mines the secrets of a tightly knit Southern community and examines the strength of will it takes to go against everyone you know in the name of justice.

Against a backdrop of poverty, clannishness, drugs, and intolerance, Myracle has crafted a harrowing coming-of-age tale couched in a deeply intelligent mystery. Smart, fearless, and compassionate, this is an unforgettable work from a beloved author.

My review: Continue reading Shine by Lauren Myracle

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Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Rating: 8/10 ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 
Title: Beauty Queens
Author: Libba Bray
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Price: US$ 18.99
Summary [from the publisher]:
From bestselling, Printz Award-winning author Libba Bray, the story of a plane of beauty pageant contestants that crashes on a desert island.

Teen beauty queens. A “Lost”- like island. Mysteries and dangers. No access to emall. And the spirit of fierce, feral competition that lives underground in girls, a savage brutality that can only be revealed by a journey into the heart of non-exfoliated darkness. Oh, the horror, the horror! Only funnier. With evening gowns. And a body count.
My review: Continue reading Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

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Fly Up into the Night Air by John Houser

Rating: 8.5/10 ★★★★★★★★½☆ 
Title: Fly Up into the Night Air
Author: John Houser
Genre: Fantasy, crime
URL: Smashwords
Price:US $2.99
Other Information/warnings: Violence, including towards minors
Summary [from the author]:
Presenter Advocate Harte Walford wants to do the right thing and bring a cruel attacker to justice. His father opposes any involvement with the case because the victim may be a pretty boy—a male prostitute. The situation deteriorates when Harte discovers that the perpetrator has powerful connections on the town council.

My review: Continue reading Fly Up into the Night Air by John Houser

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Traveling Light by Lloyd Meeker

Rating: 8/10 ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 
Title: Traveling Light
Author: Lloyd Meeker
Genre: Contemporary, spiritual, gay fiction
URL: MLR Press
Price: US $7.99/14.99
Other Information/warnings: Violence, horror
Summary [from the publisher]:
Ian McCandless is a hospice nurse, training to become a shaman. When his mentor orders him to make peace with his estranged family, Ian reluctantly agrees, anticipating just another conflict-filled visit. On their way from the airport Ian’s older brother Will interrupts a convenience store robbery and is shot, dying in Ian’s arms and calling to him for vengeance.

Ian uses his shamanic abilities to track down the killer, but his quest soon turns into a hunt for revenge—forbidden to any shaman. Ian’s pursuit jeopardizes his relationship with the spirit world, endangers the lives of those he loves and threatens to banish him from the only path that gives his life meaning.

My review: Continue reading Traveling Light by Lloyd Meeker

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Boystown: Three Nick Nowak Mysteries by Marshall Thornton

Rating: 8/10 ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 
Title: Boystown: Three Nick Nowak Mysteries
Author: Marshall Thornton
Genre: Detective/PI
URL: Torquere
Price: US $5.99
Other Information/warnings: Violence, explicit sexual material
Summary [from the publisher]:

A former police officer turned private investigator, Nick Nowak is haunted by his abrupt departure from the department, as well as, the traumatic end of his relationship with librarian Daniel Laverty. In these three stories set in Chicago during the early eighties, Nick locates a missing young man for a mysterious client, solves a case of arson at a popular nightspot, and goes undercover to prove a dramatic suicide was actually murder.

When he isn’t detecting, and sometimes when he is, Nick moves through a series of casual relationships. But his long suppressed romantic side surfaces when he meets Detective Bert Harker. Will he give love another chance? Or, will he continue to bury himself in the arms of strangers?

My review: Continue reading Boystown: Three Nick Nowak Mysteries by Marshall Thornton

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